Health protection during the Ebola crisis: the Defence Medical Services approach

Martin Bricknell, A Terrell, D Ross, D White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is a narrative of the policies, procedures, mitigations and observations of the application of Force Health Protection measures applied by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for the deployment of military personnel to West Africa as part of the UK contribution to the international response to the Ebola crisis from July 2014 to July 2015. The MOD divided the threat into three risk categories: risk from disease and non-battle injury, Ebola risk for non-clinical duties and Ebola risk for healthcare workers. Overall risk management was directed and monitored by the OP GRITROCK Force Health Protection Board. There were six cases of malaria, four outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease, two needlestick injuries in Ebola-facing healthcare workers, one MOD Ebola case and five non-needlestick, high-risk exposures. This experience reinforces the requirement for the Defence Medical Services to have a high level of organisational competence to advise on Force Health Protection for the MOD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-90
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Royal Army Medical Corps
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • Africa, Western/epidemiology
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases/epidemiology
  • Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data
  • Health Policy
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Falciparum/epidemiology
  • Military Medicine
  • Military Personnel/statistics & numerical data
  • Needlestick Injuries/epidemiology
  • United Kingdom


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